In this the second part of our examination of the British Judo Association (BJA) Dan grade register we shall look at the dates grades were awarded.
In this chart we see the number of dan grades awarded per year of all levels between 1960 and 2008. You will see there is a sudden jump in the early 1970s, followed by a steady growth (with peaks) ever since.
From the data we are not able to determine the reason for the sudden jump, common sense suggests that this has more to do with recording of data rather than actual changes in the grading structure.
The average (mean) number of Dan grades awarded per year is 237.16 (+/- 125.98).
The Average Growth year on year is 7.4 (+/- 49.24).
It is perhaps interesting that there is a visible increase in the number of Dan grades being awarded, when the “old wives tale” is that Judo is on the decline.
In this second chart we can see which months the Dan grades were awarded, which shows us that March, June and November are when a majority of grades are awarded.
This perhaps suggests the times of regular gradings. January and December we would expect to be less due to the Christmas season. What is surprising is that August is the month with the least grades awarded, it is summer, but personally I would have expected December and January to be lower. perhaps quite a few people grade just prior to the end of the year and after a Christmas break?
Of course, as mentioned in part one of this examination, this data is not complete. One big weakness is that we do not have a record of prior gradings, just the most recent. The data presented is a “snapshot” only of the BJA Dan grade register as of late March 2009.